Cops and Courts

Pocius takes the bench

Newly appointed Monongalia County Magistrate Judge J. Timothy Pocius, along with his new assistant Heather Field, was sworn in Friday morning by Chief Circuit Court Judge Perri Jo DeChristopher before a small crowd at the Monongalia County Justice Center. 

Pocius, who will officially begin his term Tuesday, will fill the unexpired term of former magistrate Todd Gaujot, who resigned earlier this month and agreed not to seek judicial office again following an investigation and a second admonishment by the Judicial Investigation Commission of West Virginia. 

Pocius previously served as magistrate in the county after being appointed in 2019 following the retirement of magistrate Darris Summers. He lost in the 2020 election to Gaujot, who took office on Jan. 1, 2021.  

Based partly on his previous experience and ability to begin immediately as a functioning magistrate, DeChristopher appointed Pocius to the position following Gaujot’s resignation. 

“We’re so thankful that Tim was willing to kind of step into the role he had before knowing that this is going to be a seamless transition. I think the second floor is blessed to have him back,” DeChristopher said after delivering the oath to Pocius. 

Pocius, who has been serving as a bailiff in circuit court, said the magistrate court staff has welcomed him back with open arms and said he is elated, excited and grateful to be back on the bench.  

“If anybody has ever worked with me before, they know that I am a hard worker – that I’ll be there all day until the job is done,” Pocius told The Dominion Post.  

“I’m fair – I try to get both sides and make the best decision,” he said. “I always call it a common sense court. Bring your common sense in, let’s talk and we’ll get everything worked out.” 

Pocius had a special thank you to Magistrate Ron Bane who led the push for two new magistrate judges for Mon County, as well as Delegate Joe Statler and Sen. Mike Oliverio who helped push that legislation. 

“I am very excited for the aspect of having six magistrates,” he said. “This county deserves that. I think the future looks bright for the justice system in Mon County.”